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Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Customs (Customs) conducted a multi-agency enforcement operation at Singapore Changi Airport on 16 November 2023. 

The enforcement operation is part of a series of operations conducted at the various immigration checkpoints since September 2023. Investigations are ongoing against the persons following enhanced checks conducted at the airport during the enforcement operations:

  1. Two male foreigners, aged 37 and 48, were separately found to have moved into Singapore, an assortment of currency notes, which amounted to more than S$20,000, without declaration; 

  2. Two male foreigner cash couriers, aged 39 and 53were found to have moved into Singapore an assortment of currency notes, which exceeded S$20,000, and to have made false declarations. The two men had moved into Singapore physical currency amounting to S$1.2 million, of which S$120,000 were under declared;

  3. Ten other travellers were found with Customs offence of failure to declare and pay taxes on (i) dutiable cigarettes/tobacco products, (ii) liquors in excess of their duty-free allowance or (iii) new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food items exceeding their Goods and Services Tax (GST) import relief allowance. 

CAD oversees the Cross Border Cash Movement Reporting Regime (CBCRR) to curb money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities. The public is reminded that while there are no restrictions on the amount of Cash or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (CBNIs) that can be moved into or out of Singapore, it is a statutory requirement to report the cross border physical movement of the CBNIs if the total value exceeds S$20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency). Failure to accurately report the movement of CBNIs exceeding S$20,000 is an offence punishable under Section 60(2) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992. 

Offenders are liable to a fine not exceeding S$50,000 or to an imprisonment term of up to three years, or both. A confiscation order may also be sought for any part of the cash, in relation to which the offence was committed, that exceeds S$20,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency). More information on Cross Border Cash Movement Reporting can be found on SPF’s website (

Under the Customs Act, any person who is in any way concerned in any fraudulent evasion of, or attempt to fraudulently evade, any customs duty or excise duty shall be guilty of an offence and will be liable on conviction to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded. It is the responsibility of arriving travellers to make accurate and complete declaration of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession. To avoid the hefty penalties and for their own convenience, travellers or returning Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to make an advance declaration and payment for their dutiable or GST goods up to three days prior to their arrival in Singapore, using the Customs@SG Web Application

Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains top priority for ICA. ICA will continue to conduct security checks and work with relevant authorities to detect and deter smuggling attempts so as to keep Singapore safe. 

All travellers are reminded that the authorities will not tolerate any illegal activities as we strive to safeguard our land, air and sea borders against crime and security threats, including smuggling activities and non-compliance with our regulations. 

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24 November 2023 @ 12:40 PM
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